A fabulous year for Yukon art and artists!
It’s been a fabulous year for the Yukon Prize and for Yukon visual arts in general. With most pandemic restrictions lifted, we were able to plan a range of in-person events and organize a true celebration of Yukon visual arts for the Yukon Prize weekend in September. The weekend included an art crawl, tours of the Yukon Prize exhibition, panel discussions, seminars and workshops, culminating in the Gala, where Kaylyn Baker was awarded the 2023 Yukon Prize. The Gala was a true celebration of Yukon arts, combining performing arts, culinary arts and visual arts in an unforgettable evening. You won’t want to miss this in 2025!
We are so grateful for the incredible team (mostly volunteers!) who put all of this together, and so proud of the talented Yukon artists whose work we were able to showcase. Thank you all!
The 2023 Yukon Prize jury
In late 2022, the Prize was thrilled to announce the three of Canada’s top curatorial minds participating as the 2023 Yukon Prize jurors, Dr. Heather Igloliorte, Michelle Jacques and Sarah Milroy.
Let’s Talk Art
The Yukon Prize is artist-centred, and we try to ensure that the choices we make will benefit the careers of Yukon visual artists and build their creative confidence. To help inform our choices and plans for the Yukon Prize 2023 Weekend, we invited artists, art lovers and arts administrators to gather at the Gold Rush Inn in May to chat with peers over free wings and drinks about visual arts in the territory. Read the results of the Let’s Talk Art engagement session here.
The first ever Yukon Prize longlist is announced
In the Spring for the first time in its history, a longlist was announced for the 2023 prize. The finalists were:
• Justin Apperley (Dawson City)
• Kaylyn Baker (Whitehorse)
• Jeffrey Langille (Dawson City)
• Robyn McLeod
(Fort Providence/Ross River)
• Meshell Melvin (Whitehorse)
• Rebekah Miller (Dawson City)
• Jackie Olson (Dawson City)
• Cole Pauls (Haines Junction/Vancouver)
• Nicole Rayburn (Dawson City)
• Omar Reyna (Whitehorse)
• Rosemary Scanlon (Whitehorse)
• Alainnah Whachell (Whitehorse)
Artwork by the six finalists (L to R) Alainnah Whachell, Cole Pauls, Jeffrey Langille, Kaylyn Baker, Omar Reyna, Rebekah Miller
The Yukon Prize Celebration Weekend
From September 14-16, the Yukon Prize held the biennial Yukon Prize Celebration Weekend in Whitehorse. Hundreds of attendees were hosted at various art-related events, including a downtown Art Crawl, panel discussions and the Gala and Awards Show.
Photos by Michael Edwards
Panels, seminar and workshop
Yukon Archives Artist-in-Residence Tara Kolla led participants through a fun paper house workshop. Pennylane Shen of Dazed and Confucius presented her popular seminar, “Navigating the Art Industry.”
Yukon Prize Jurors’ Panel: What I Look for in Contemporary Art
Michelle Jacques, Mary Bradshaw (moderator), Sarah Milroy, Dr. Heather Igloliorte
Panel Discussion: The National Gallery and Beyond
Jeneen Frei Njootli, Julie Jai (moderator), Michelle Lavallee
Artist Tours of Finalists’ Exhibition
The Yukon Prize finalists guided visitors through the Finalists’ Exhibition at the Yukon Arts Centre during the Yukon Prize Weekend.
Gala, Awards Show and Reception
The Gala and Awards Show was the culmination of hard work by volunteers, staff, board members and our partners. The evening featured performances by Matthew Lien, the Kwanlin Dághàłaan K’e Dancers and Bria Rose N’ Thorns. Incredible food was prepared by six local chefs whose plates were inspired by the artwork in the Finalists’ Exhibition. The photo parlour was a fun place to gather for photos with friends and family.
2023 Yukon Prize recipient Kaylyn BakerSelkirk First Nation artist Kaylyn Baker was announced as the recipient of he $20,000 Yukon Prize.
Business AND Arts After HoursIn November, the business and arts communities came together to celebrate the launch of the Yukon Prize Exhibition Catalogue and announce the $3,000 recipient of the Yukon Prize Casino Mining Viewer’s Choice Award.
Cole Pauls receives the Viewer’s Choice AwardThe $3,000 Yukon Prize Casino Mining Viewer’s Choice Award was another new initiative for Yukon Prize in 2023. Visitors to the Finalists’ Exhibition at the Yukon Arts Centre were invited to submit a vote for their selection for Viewer’s Choice and Cole Pauls was announced as the recipient at the Business and Arts After Hours event. Congratulations, Cole!
The Finalists’ Exhibition catalogue is releasedThe 2023 Yukon Prize catalogue was launched in November at the Business and Arts After Hours event. The catalogue includes an essay by Yukon writer Rhiannon Russell and photos of the Finalists’ artworks and exhibition by Whitehorse-based photographers, Mark Kelly and Mike Thomas. Designed by Mary Binsted Designs, the catalogue is available now for purchase for $20 (includes shipping).
In the giving spirit?
To make a charitable donation online to support Yukon art and artists through the Yukon Prize, please donate through our partner, the Yukon Arts Foundation, via Canada Helps.
Where you see the heading: “Apply your donation to a specific fund set up by this charity” select “Yukon Prize for Visual Arts” from the drop down menu.
You will receive a charitable donation receipt immediately by email from Canada Helps, identifying your support for the Yukon Prize for Visual Arts.